I’m writing a book about how to start your own one-person maid service. There are a number of inspirations behind it, but I think the number one inspiration behind it is the fact that there is not a book or ebook like it on Amazon. I’ve searched for it many times.
In 2007 when I first started this business I looked for a book like it, and I would have bought it in a heartbeat, but there was nothing like it on the market. There was a plethora of housekeeping books out there, but nothing pertaining to my unique niche.
That’s why I think it’ll do well. I think too that that is why it is so challenging to me because I don’t want to just put fluff out there. I know house cleaning is not rocket science, but I think if you do anything professionally you must take pride in what you create.
Each time I go into a client’s home I’m creating a new experience for them to benefit from. I’m cleaning the same things the same way, but the interaction, thoughts and life circumstances are evolving for both of us as we journey through this life.
I’ve read that authors get their best ideas while washing dishes, and frankly I’m quite thankful I just received my first dishwasher at the age of forty. I’ve had thirty years to gather inspiration, thoughts and ideas. That’s priceless. And now I think I’m reaping those epiphanies as several book ideas float through my head. This blog is a product of those years, and I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my friend Craig Eckstein for the years of encouragement he offered as I grew up in Michigan. He is one amazing man, and when he was our youth pastor the way he inspired and loved us will always be remembered.
I think another thing that comes to mind when I ponder this book idea is that I’ve heard it said that you don’t mix business with pleasure. I understand that philosophy, but as an entrepreneur I cannot divorce myself from my business. I know I’m not what I do, but when I interact with a customer my personality, values and humor are as much a part of the service I sell.
When in Rome do as the Romans the saying goes, so obviously we match our behavior with the expectant norm of our surroundings. It’s the loving thing to do, but when we feel led to buck normalcy we’d better expect a certain amount of isolation. I guess that can be expected when we blaze our own trails. We are still part of a community, albeit, family, school, work, church, country club and kid’s activities etc., but nonetheless even if we work for a large employer we are blazing a trail.
The average employment tenure is 3 years, and since the market crash of 08 I suspect it’s less than that now. The days of my grandfather working 30+ years for an employer are gone. Pensions are disappearing, the gold watch is melted down for the CEO’s 401k, and that call center is going to India.
It’s time to think outside the box. It’s been time to think outside the box. Our new Sam Walton’s are people like Seth Godin, Sam Davidson, Daniel Tomlinson, Rob Touchstone, Daniel Thompson and John Pyle. These individuals know that it’s not necessarily what we went to college to study that earns a paycheck. Oh, many of us still use what we learned in college and grad school, but it’s not our bread and butter as it used to be.
Don’t wring your hands in desperation because in many ways America’s best days are ahead. The political climate has never been more polar opposite, but in the heated debates we are finding common ground on which to stand, but it’s not what we expected. I’m not saying we have to compromise our God-given values or sacrifice our beliefs because some talking head told us to, but I am saying that we have got to be flexible when it comes to our shoulds and should nots.
The idea that we work 9-5 Monday through Friday 48 weeks a year for 30 years is one thing we need to delete from our minds. Oh, that business model will always be there because, well, we need light bulbs, but companies like Apple are showing us that results are what build economic stability.
Tomlinson House Cleaning, LLC used to charge by the hour, but now I charge by the job. In the five short years I’ve been on Nashville’s business landscape I’ve reinvented myself and my company for greater sustainability and growth even if I don’t hire employees. This is what today’s success looks like. Yesterday I did have a 12 hour day, but today I had a 3 hour day. That’s what self-employment looks like, and you have to be willing to make the trade-offs necessary to make it work.
That’s challenging and rewarding because many of us self-employed folk have our offices right in our homes, and it’s difficult to leave work at work, but you have to draw that boundary. Like everything in life it’s a paradox. A catch-22 if you will because as I wrote earlier do you really have to divide business and pleasure? Yes and no.
I think that’s where my faith comes in. Proverbs 3:5-6 talks about not leaning on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. He’s done that my entire life even more so now that I don’t have my parents telling me when to eat, shower, go to bed and get up to do it all over again. Being parented by my parents was a priceless treasure I’ll never take for granted, but being fathered by God, well, I’m speechless.
God spoke this global village into existence, but on the seventh day He rested.
As a grateful child of God I use Friday night to rest.
I pray you find rest as well.